As we all know, the Wall Street Journal is a reactionary Republican newspaper, at least when it comes to its editorial board. So it was interesting to see what their own reporter is saying about our McWar in Iraq. Remember, this is not your lefty NY Times or WaPo.
Iraqis like to call this mess ‘the situation.’ When asked ‘how are things?’ they reply: ‘the situation is very bad.’ What they mean by ‘situation’ is this: the Iraqi government doesn’t control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country’s roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health — which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers — has now stopped disclosing them.
It’s a free country, and we’re all entitled to believe what we want about this war. I really want to know, why do people point to this awful war as proof of shrub’s leadership and strength? Why do they believe he must be the one to command our military for another four years? I’m willing to change my vote, if you just explain why I should in the light of this sort of evidence.
Oh, and note that the new Iraqi government has learned well from those who created it: The numbers of the dead and dying were simply too unberable and reflected a state of deterioration and despair. Simple solution: Just stop reporting the numbers! Maybe that way it’ll just go away.
Update: I just read elsewhere that this wasn’t an article in the WSJ, but an email from the WSJ reporter to his friends. If so, then we have even more reason to believe it.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.